Chinese govt has no plans to ease property buying restrictions

Chinese authorities have no intention of reigning in stringent property market cooling measures despite calls for an easing to offset the country’s slowing economy.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development told a press conference in Beijing that the government is not planning to loosen real estate policy, and that policies targeting real estate speculation and price inflation would remain in place.

Chinese policymakers are attempting to implement targeted reforms that will reinvigorate growth in the world's second largest economy, but without encouraging a second round of over investment in property markets.

A report released by Soufun.com, China's largest real estate website, said sales increased in 34 out of 40 large cities from April to May, causing concerns that property prices may begin to increase again.

The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) has also published a report saying it will not accelerate lending at present.

Some local governments have implemented their own easing policies on property markets, such as the Yangzhou government, which has instituted a reimbursement policy for new home buyers.

The housing ministry spokesperson said the central government would keep a close eye on such initiatives and would step in quickly to remedy ‘improper’ policies.

However, prices have not yet shown signs of any increase. A survey released last week by the China Real Estate Index System showed average home prices in 100 key Chinese cities fell in May.

Leading property developer Vanke reported that property sales for the first five months of 2012 were down 6% year on year.
The company’s chief executive officer Yu Liang said in a television interview that there were about 114 million square metres of unsold property inventory on hand in China's first tier cities, enough to last for 11 months at the current sales rates.